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Finland-Swedes

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Swedish-speaking Finns constitute a linguistic minority in Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

. They maintain a strong identity and are alternatively seen either as a distinct subgroup of the Finnish people or as a separate ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 or even as a distinct nationality
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

. They speak distinct dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

s and a standard language that are both called Finland Swedish and are mutually intelligible with the dialects spoken in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, as well as with other Scandinavian languages.

Swedish is the mother tongue
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

 of about 275,000 people in mainland Finland
Mainland Finland
Mainland Finland is a term used for instance in statistics to exclude the autonomous Åland Islands under Finnish sovereignty. Mainland Finland is not to be confused with Finland Proper, which is the province adjacent to Åland...

 and of about 25,000 people in Åland, together representing about 5.5% of the total population (according to official statistics for 2009) or about 5.1% without Åland. The proportion has been steadily diminishing since the early 19th century, when Swedish was the mother tongue of approximately 15% of the population. According to a statistical analysis made by Fjalar Finnäs
Fjalar Finnäs
Fjalar Finnäs is a Finnish professor of demographics at the Åbo Akademi University. He has been especially focusing on the demographics of the Swedish-speaking Finns.-External links:*...

, the situation of the minority group is today stable. Most Finland-Swedes are bilingual with both their native and the Finnish language
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

.

Terminology


The Swedish term finlandssvensk, which is used by the group itself, does not have an established English translation. The Research Institute for the Languages of Finland
Research Institute for the Languages of Finland
The Research Institute for the Languages of Finland is a governmental linguistic research institute of Finland geared at studies of Finnish, Swedish , the Sami languages, Romani language, and the Finnish Sign Language....

 proposes Swedish-speaking Finns, Swedish Finns, or Finland-Swedes, the first of which is the sole form used on the institute's website. The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland and the main political institutions for the Swedish-speaking minority such as the Swedish People's Party and Swedish Assembly of Finland
Swedish Assembly of Finland
The Swedish Assembly of Finland is an official consultative parliament representing the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.-Elections:Elections are held every four years, and candidates are nominated by the political parties which are either bilingual or Swedish-speaking...

 use the expression Swedish-speaking Finns, but Swedish-speaking NGOs often use the term Finland-Swedes. The expressions Swedish-speaking Finns, Swedes of Finland, Finland Swedes, Finnish Swedes, and Swedish Finns are all used in academic literature.

It has been argued that the Swedish expression finlandssvenskar, used by the group itself, often has an ethno-cultural connotation that exceeds the literal meaning of the expression ("Swedish-speaking") used in the title of the article. From this perspective, criticism has been raised that expressions such as "Swedish-speaking" or "Swedish-speaking Finn" restrict the peculiar cultural identity of the Swedish-speaking minority to that of a linguistic phenomenon

Debate about the age of the Swedish-speaking population in Finland


The age of the Swedish-speaking population in Finland has been subjected to fierce debate. In 1966, the historian Hämäläinen (as referenced by McRae 1993) addressed the strong correlation between the scholar's mother-tongue and the views on the age and continuity of the Scandinavian settlement history of Finland. "Whereas Finnish-speaking scholars tended to deny or minimize the presence of Swedish-speakers before the historically documented Swedish expeditions starting from the 12th century, Swedish-speaking scholars have found archeological and philological evidence for a continuous and Swedish or Germanic presence in Finland from pre-historic times" (McRae, 1993). However, during the recent decades several Swedish-speaking philologists, archaeologists and historians from Finland have criticized the theories of Germanic/Scandinavian continuity in Finland.

According to the archaeological evidence, the Åland Islands
Åland Islands
The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingually Swedish-speaking region of Finland...

 shared the Viking Age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

 Scandinavian culture. However, according to some researchers, the islands were deserted during the 11th century, and then resettled by Swedes after a brief phase of limited Finnish colonisation deduced from place-name evidence.

In Southern Ostrobothnia, the language of the Iron Age culture prevailing from 300 to 800 CE is unknown, although the character of the culture is similar to the one prevailing in South Finland. In both cases, arguments of continuity in settlement reaching to the historical Swedish-speaking population have been presented, but the issue is still under debate.

Medieval Swedish colonisation


The first Swedish arrivals in Finland have often been linked to the putative First Swedish Crusade
First Swedish Crusade
First Swedish Crusade is a legendary military expedition presumably in the 1150s that has traditionally been seen as the conquest of Finland by Sweden, with pagan Finns converting to Christianity. According to the legend, the crusade was conducted by King Eric IX of Sweden...

 (ca. 1150) which, if it actually happened, served to expand Christianity and annex Finnish territories to the kingdom of Sweden. Simultaneously the growth of population in Sweden, together with lack of land, resulted in Swedish settlements in Southern and Western coastal areas of Finland. The Second Swedish Crusade
Second Swedish Crusade
The Second Swedish Crusade was a Swedish military expedition to areas in present-day Finland by Birger jarl in the 13th century. As a result of the crusade, Finland became permanently part of Sweden for the next 550 years.-Year of the crusade:...

 against the Tavastians
Tavastia (historical province)
Tavastia, Tavastland or Häme, Russian Emi or Yemi, is a historical province in the south of Finland. It borders Finland Proper, Satakunta, Ostrobothnia, Savonia and Uusimaa.- Administration :...

 in 13th century extended the Swedish settlements to Uusimaa
Uusimaa
Uusimaa, or Nyland in Swedish, is a region in Finland. It borders the regions Finland Proper, Tavastia Proper, Päijänne Tavastia and Kymenlaakso...

. During the 14th century the population expansion from Sweden increasingly took the form of organised mass arrivals: the new settlers came in large numbers in large ships from various parts of Sweden’s Eastern coast, from Småland to Hälsingland. Their departure from Sweden to Finland was encouraged and organized by the Swedish authorities. The coast of Ostrobothnia received large scale Swedish settlements between the 13th and 15th centuries, in parallel with events which resulted in Swedish expansion to Norrland.

Nationalism and language strifes


The proportion of Swedish speakers in Finland has dropped since the 18th century, when almost 20% spoke Swedish (these 18th century statistics excluded Karelia
Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...

 and Kexholm County
Kexholm County
Kexholm County was a county of the Swedish Empire from 1617 to 1721, when the southern part was ceded to the Russian Empire in the Treaty of Nystad.-History:...

, which were ceded to Russia in 1743, and the northern parts of Finland were counted as part of northern Sweden). When the Grand Duchy of Finland
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

 was formed and Karelia was reunited with Finland, the share of Swedish speakers was 15% of the population.

During the 19th century a national awakening occurred in Finland. It was supported by the Russian central administration for practical reasons, as a security measure to weaken Swedish influence in Finland. This trend was reinforced by the general wave of nationalism in Europe in the mid-19th century. As a result, under the influence of the German idea of one national language, a strong movement arose that promoted the use of the Finnish language in education, research and administration. To a certain extent, this movement was also anxious over the idea of forcing the Swedish-speaking minority to assimilate. Many influential Swedish-speaking families learned Finnish, fennicized their names and changed their everyday language to Finnish, sometimes not a very easy task. This linguistic change had many similarities with the linguistic and cultural revival of 19th century Lithuania where many former Polish speakers expressed their affiliation with the Lithuanian nation by adopting Lithuanian as their spoken language. As the educated class in Finland was almost entirely Swedish-speaking, the first generation of the Finnish nationalists and Fennomans came predominantly from a Swedish-speaking background.
Swedish Finns as a percentage of Finland's population 2
3
Year Percent
1610 17.5%
1749 16.3%
1815 14.6%
1880 14.3%
1900 12.9%
1920 11.0%
1940 9.5%
1960 7.4%
1980 6.3%
2003 5.6%
2005 5.5%

The language issue was not primarily an issue of ethnicity, but an ideological
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 and philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 issue as to what language policy would best preserve Finland as a nation. This also explains why so many academically educated Swedish speakers changed to Finnish: it was motivated by ideology. Both parties had the same patriotic objectives, but their methods were completely the opposite. The language strife would continue up until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

The majority of the population – both Swedish and Finnish speakers – were farmers, fishermen and other workers. The farmers lived mainly in unilingual areas, while the other workers lived in bilingual areas such as Helsinki. This co-existence gave birth to Helsinki slang
Helsinki slang
Helsinki slang or stadin slangi is a local dialect and a sociolect of the Finnish language mainly used in the capital Helsinki...

 – a Finnish slang with novel slang words of Finnish, local and common Swedish and Russian origin. Helsinki was primarily Swedish speaking until the late 19th century.

The Swedish nationality and quest for territorial recognition


The Finnish-speaking parties, under the lead of Senator E.N Setälä who played a major role in the drafting the language act (1922) and the language paragraphs (1919) in the Finnish constitution, interpreted the language provisions so that they are not supposed to suggest the existence of two nationalities. According to this view Finland has two national languages but only one nationality. This view was never shared in the Swedish-speaking political circles and paved the way for a linguistic conflict. Contrary to the Finnish-speaking view the leaders of Swedish-speaking nationality movement (Axel Lille and others) maintained that the Swedish-speaking population of Finland constituted a nationality of its own and the provisions of the constitution act were seen to support the view. The Finnish-speaking political circles denoted the cultural rights of Finland-Swedes as minority rights. The Finland-Swedish political view emphasized the equality of the Swedish nationality next to the Finnish-speaking nationality and the fact the national languages of Finland were the languages of the respective nationalities of the country, not the languages of the state itself. The concept of minority, although de facto the case for Swedish speakers, was perceived as being against the spirit of the constitution. However, gradually after the Second World War, the concept of minority has been increasingly applied to Swedish speakers, even within the Finland-Swedish political discourse.

The Swedish-speaking nationality movement was effectively mobilized during the aftermath of Finnish independence and the civil war that shortly followed. The Swedish assembly of Finland was founded to protect the linguistic integrity of Swedish-speakers and seek fixed territorial guarantees for the Swedish language for those parts of the country where Swedish speakers made up the local majority. The Finnish-speaking parties and leadership studiously avoided self-government for Swedish speakers in the Finnish mainland. Of the broader wishes of the Swedish-speaking political movement only cultural concessions — most notably administrative autonomy for Swedish schools and a Swedish diocese — were realized, which nevertheless were sufficient to prevent more thorough conflict between the ethno-linguistic groups.

Developments since the late 19th century


The urbanization and industrialization that began in the late 19th century increased the interaction between people speaking different languages with each other, especially in the bigger towns. Helsinki, named after medieval settlers from the Swedish province of Hälsingland
Hälsingland
' is a historical province or landskap in central Sweden. It borders to Gästrikland, Dalarna, Härjedalen, Medelpad and to the Gulf of Bothnia...

, and still close to 100% Swedish-speaking in the 19th century, attracted Finnish-speaking workers, civil servants and university students from inland parts of Finland, as did other Swedish-speaking areas. As a result, the originally unilingual Swedish-speaking coastal regions in the province of Uusimaa
Uusimaa
Uusimaa, or Nyland in Swedish, is a region in Finland. It borders the regions Finland Proper, Tavastia Proper, Päijänne Tavastia and Kymenlaakso...

 were cut into two parts. There was a smaller migration in the opposite direction, and a few Swedish-speaking "islands" emerged in towns like Tampere
Tampere
Tampere is a city in southern Finland. It is the most populous inland city in any of the Nordic countries. The city has a population of , growing to approximately 300,000 people in the conurbation and over 340,000 in the metropolitan area. Tampere is the third most-populous municipality in...

, Oulu
Oulu
Oulu is a city and municipality of inhabitants in the region of Northern Ostrobothnia, in Finland. It is the most populous city in Northern Finland and the sixth most populous city in the country. It is one of the northernmost larger cities in the world....

 and Kotka
Kotka
Kotka is a town and municipality of Finland. Its former name is Rochensalm.Kotka is located on the coast of the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of Kymi River and it is part of the Kymenlaakso region in southern Finland. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water....

.

According to official statistics, Swedish speakers made up 12.89% of the total population of Finland of 2.6 million in 1900. By 1950 the share had fallen to 8.64% of a total of 4 million people. By 1990 the share was 5.94% of 5 million people. This sharp decline has since levelled off to a decline of 0.02% or 0.03% per year.

An important contribution to the decline of Swedish speakers in Finland during the second half of the 20th century was that many Swedish speakers emigrated to Sweden. An estimated 30% – 50% of all Finnish citizens that moved to Sweden were Swedish-speaking Finns. Reliable statistics are not available, as the Swedish authorities, as opposed to their Finnish counterpart, do not register languages. Another reason is that the natural increase of the Finnish-speakers has been somewhat faster than that of the Swedish-speakers until recent times, when the trend has reversed.

During most of the 20th century, marriages across language borders tended to result in children becoming Finnish speakers, and knowledge of Swedish declined. During the last decades the trend has been reversed: many bilingual families chose to register their children as Swedish speakers and put their children in Swedish schools. One motive is the language skills needed during their professional lives. Population statistics do not recognize bilingualism.

Historical relationship of the Swedish- and Finnish-speaking populations


The Finnish substrate toponyms (place names) within today's Swedish speaking areas have been interpreted as indicative of earlier Finnish settlements in the area. A toponymical analysis from e.g. the Turunmaa archipelago - today largely Swedish-speaking - suggests the existence of a large population of native Finnish speakers up until the early modern age. Whether the Finnish settlements prior the arrival of the Swedes have been permanent or seasonal is debated. According to another toponymic study, some Finnish villages and farms on the south-western coast and the archipelago became Swedish-speaking by assimilation.

According to another view (e.g. Tarkiainen 2008) the two major areas of Swedish language speakers (Uusimaa
Uusimaa
Uusimaa, or Nyland in Swedish, is a region in Finland. It borders the regions Finland Proper, Tavastia Proper, Päijänne Tavastia and Kymenlaakso...

 and Ostrobothnia
Ostrobothnia (region)
Ostrobothnia is a region of Finland. It is located in Western Finland. It borders the regions Central Ostrobothnia, Southern Ostrobothnia, and Satakunta and is one of the four regions making up the historical province of Ostrobothnia....

) were largely uninhabited at the time of the arrival of Swedes.

According to an interpretation based on the results of recent (2008) genome-wide SNP scans and on church records from the early modern period, Swedish-speaking peasantry has been overwhelmingly endogamous. Historian Tarkiainen (2008) presents that from the late Middle Ages onwards until relatively recent times, Swedish-speaking peasants tended to select their marriage partners from the same parish, often from the same village as themselves. This tends to be the rule among traditional peasant communities everywhere. As tightly-knit peasant communities tend to assimilate eventual newcomers very quickly, this has meant that most marriages within the Swedish-speaking peasantry during this period were contracted with members of the same language group. During the time of early immigration by Swedes to the coastal regions (approximatively between 1150 and 1350), the situation was different and according to a study from the 1970s (as referenced by Tarkiainen, 2008) the intermarriage rate between local Finns and Swedish newcomers was considerable. According to Tarkiainen, in the areas of initial Swedish immigration, the local Finns were assimilated into the Swedish-speaking population.

Culture, Literature & Folklore


The (Finland-)Swedish folklore at the coast has been traditionally maritime influenced. The themes for the folklore are typical in the Nordic context. Stories and tales involving the evil water-spirit are in central. The origins of the tales have been German and French from where they have adapted to the Nordic-milieu. The (Finland)-Swedish folklore has had a significant impact also to the folklore of Finnish-speakers.

Finland-Swedish literature has a rich legacy. Under the lead of Edith Södergran, who also captivated audiences in English-speaking world, Gunnar Björling and Elmer Diktonius, the Finland-Swedish modernists of the early 20th century had a significant impact for the whole Scandinavian modernism.

Tove Jansson is perhaps the most renowned example of Finland-Swedish prose. Her Moomin books, most of which were translated by Thomas Warburton, have fascinated children and adults throughout the world.

Genetics


In a recent study (2008) a joint analysis was performed for the first time on Swedish and Finnish autosomal genotypes. Swedish-speakers from Ostrobothnia (reference population of the study representing 40% of all Swedish-speakers in Finland) did not differ significantly from the neighbouring, adjacent Finnish-speaking populations but formed a genetic cluster with the Swedes only when a Swedish reference population was used, which highlights the significance of a proper reference population in comparative population genetics According to a recent Y-DNA study (2008), a Swedish-speaking reference group from Larsmo
Larsmo
Larsmo is a municipality of Finland, located in the Ostrobothnia region of the province of Western Finland."Larsmo" is also the name of one of the villages in the municipality of Larsmo. The municipality is unilingually Swedish and is consisting of an archipelago of about 360 islands and numerous...

, Ostrobothnia, differed significantly from the Finnish-speaking sub-populations in the country in terms of Y-STR variation. This study however was comparing one small Swedish-speaking municipality of 4652 inhabitants to Finnish speaking provinces and only tells about the origin of two different Y-DNA haplotypes.

Identity



According to a sociological study published in 1981, the Swedish-speaking Finns meet the four major criteria for a separate ethnic group: self-identification of ethnicity, language, social structure, and ancestry. However, not all Swedish-speaking Finns are willing to self-identify as representatives of a distinct ethnicity. The major political organisation representing the Swedish-speakers in Finland, the Swedish People's Party, has defined the Swedish-speaking Finns as a people who express Finnish identity in the Swedish language. The issue is debated: an opposite view is still that the Swedish-speaking Finns are a sub-group of the ethnic Swedes, östsvenskar or "East Swedes".

Despite these varying viewpoints, the Swedish-speaking Finns in general have their own identity distinct from that of the majority, and they wish to be recognized as such. In speaking Swedish, Swedish-speaking Finns predominantly use the Swedish word finländare when referring to all Finnish nationals. The purpose is to use a term that includes both themselves and Finnish-speaking Finns because the Swedish word finnar, in Finland-Swedish usage, implies a Finnish-speaking Finn. In Sweden, this distinction between finländare and finnar is not widely understood and often not made.

In literature regarding to international law and minority rights, a view that the Swedish-speakers in Finland not only constitute an ethnic minority but a distinct nationality has also been presented.

Marriages between Swedish- and Finnish-speakers are nowadays very common. According to a study commissioned by the Swedish Assembly of Finland in 2005, 48.5% of all families with children where at least one of the parents was Swedish-speaking were bilingual in the sense of one parent being Swedish- and the other Finnish-speaking (only families living in those municipalities where Swedish was at least a co-official language were included in this study). 67.7% of the children from these bilingual families were registered as Swedish-speaking. The proportion of those who attended schools where Swedish was the language of instruction was even higher. The Finnish authorities classify a person as a Swedish- or Finnish-speaker based only upon that person's (or parent's) own choice, which can be changed at any time. It is only possible to be registered either as Swedish- or Finnish-speaking, not both as in Canada, for example. It is significantly more common nowadays than it used to be for children from bilingual families to be registered as Swedish-speaking.

Historical predominance of the Swedish language among the gentry


Areas of modern day Finland were integrated into the Swedish
Realm of Sweden
The Realm of Sweden or Svenska väldet is a term that historically was used to comprise all the territories under the control of the Swedish monarchs.-Lands of Sweden:...

 realm in the 13th century, at a time when that realm was still in the process of being formed. At the time of Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 was still the language of instruction from the secondary school upwards and in use among the educated class and priests. As Finland was part of Sweden for 700 years, Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 was the language of the nobility, administration and education. Hence the two highest estates of the realm
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

, i.e. nobles
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 and priests
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

, had Swedish as their language. In the two minor estates, burghers
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 and peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s, Swedish also held sway, but in a more varying degree depending on regional differences.

Most noble families of the medieval period arrived directly from Sweden. A significant minority of the nobility had foreign origins (predominantly German
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

), but their descendants normally adopted Swedish as their first language.

The clergy in the earlier part the formation of the Lutheran Church (in its High Church
High Church Lutheranism
"High Church Lutheranism" is the name given in Europe for the 20th century Lutheran movement that emphasizes worship practices and doctrines that are similar to those found within both Roman Catholicism and the Anglo-Catholic wing of Anglicanism...

 form) was constituted most often of the wealthier strata of the peasantry with the closely linked medieval Finnish nobility
Finnish nobility
The Finnish nobility was historically a privileged class in Finland, deriving from its period as part of Sweden and the Russian Empire. Noble families and their descendants are still a part of Finnish republican society today, but except for the titles themselves, no longer retain any specific or...

 and the rising burgher class in the expanding cities. The Church required fluency in Finnish from clergymen serving in predominantly or totally Finnish-speaking parishes (most of the country), consequently clerical families tended to maintain a high degree of functional bilingualism. Clerical families in the whole seem to have been fluent more in Finnish than the burghers as whole. In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, commerce in the Swedish realm, including Finland, was dominated by German merchants who immigrated in large numbers to the cities and towns of Sweden and Finland. As a result, the wealthier burghers in Sweden (and in Finnish cities as Turku
Turku
Turku is a city situated on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River. It is located in the region of Finland Proper. It is believed that Turku came into existence during the end of the 13th century which makes it the oldest city in Finland...

 and Viipuri) during the late Middle Ages tended to be of German origin. In the 19th century, a new wave of immigration came from German speaking countries predominantly connected to commercial activities, which has formed a notable part of the grand bourgeoisie in Finland to this day .

After the Finnish war
Finnish War
The Finnish War was fought between Sweden and the Russian Empire from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire...

, Sweden lost Finland to Russia. During the period of Russian sovereignty
Grand Duchy of Finland
The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed 1809–1917 as part of the Russian Empire and was ruled by the Russian czar as Grand Prince.- History :...

 (1809–1917) the Finnish language was promoted by the Russian authorities as a way to sever the cultural and emotional ties with Sweden and to counter the threat of a reunion with Sweden. Consequently, the Finnish language began to replace Swedish in the administrative and cultural sphere during the later part of the 19th century.

The rise of the Finnish language to an increasingly prevalent position in society was, at the outset, mainly a construct of eager promoters of the Finnish language from the higher strata of society, mainly with Swedish-speaking family backgrounds. A later development, especially at the beginning of the 20th century, was the adoption or translation or modification of Swedish surnames into Finnish (fennicization). This was generally done throughout the entire society. In upper class families it was predominantly in cadet branches of families that the name translations took place.

Opposition to the Swedish language was partly based around historical prejudices and conflicts that had sprung up during the 19th century. The intensified language strife
Finland's language strife
The language strife was one of the major conflicts of Finland's national history and domestic politics. It revolved around the question of what status Swedish—the language which since the Middle Ages had been the main language of administration and high culture in Finland—and, on the other hand,...

 and the aspiration to raise the Finnish language and Finnic culture from peasant status to the position of a national language and a national culture gave rise to negative portrayals of Swedish speakers as foreign oppressors of the peaceful Finnish-speaking peasant.

Even though the proportional distribution of Swedish-speakers among different social strata closely reflects that of the general population, there is still a lingering conception of Swedish as a language of the historical upper class culture of Finland. This is reinforced by the fact that Swedish-speakers are statistically overrepresented among "old money
Old Money
Old money is "the inherited wealth of established upper-class families " or "a person, family, or lineage possessing inherited wealth." The term typically describes a class of the super-rich, who have been able to maintain their wealth across multiple generations.- United States :American locations...

 " families as well as within the Finnish nobility
Finnish nobility
The Finnish nobility was historically a privileged class in Finland, deriving from its period as part of Sweden and the Russian Empire. Noble families and their descendants are still a part of Finnish republican society today, but except for the titles themselves, no longer retain any specific or...

 consisting of about 6000 persons, of which about two thirds are Swedish-speakers. Still the majority of the Swedish-speaking Finns have traditionally been farmers and fishermen from the Finnish coastal municipalities and archipelago.

Bilingualism



Finland is a bilingual country according to its constitution
Constitution of Finland
The Constitution of Finland is the supreme source of national law of Finland. It defines the basis, structures and organisation of government, the relationship between the different constitutional organs, and lays out the fundamental rights of Finnish citizens...

. This means that members of the Swedish language minority have the right to communicate with the state authorities in their mother tongue.

On the municipal level, this right is legally restricted to municipalities with a certain minimum of speakers of the minority language. All Finnish communities and towns are classified as either monolingual or bilingual. When the proportion of the minority language increases to 8% (or 3000), then the municipality is defined as bilingual, and when it falls below 6%, the municipality becomes monolingual. In bilingual municipalities, all civil servants must have satisfactory language skill in either Finnish or Swedish (in addition to native-level skill in the other language). Both languages can be used in all communications with the civil servants in such a town. Public signs (such as street and traffic signs, as illustrated) are in both languages in bilingual towns and municipalities the name in majority language being on the top.

The Swedish-speaking areas in Finnish Mainland do not have fixed territorial protection, unlike the languages of several national minorities in Central Europe such as German in Belgium and North Italy
South Tyrol
South Tyrol , also known by its Italian name Alto Adige, is an autonomous province in northern Italy. It is one of the two autonomous provinces that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. The province has an area of and a total population of more than 500,000 inhabitants...

. This has caused heated debate among Swedish-speaking Finns. The current language act of Finland has been criticized as inadequate instrument to protect the linguistic rights of Swedish-speaking Finns in practise. The criticism was partly legitimized by the report (2008) conducted by Finnish government which showed severe problems in the practical implementation of the language act. The recent administrative reforms in Finland have caused harsh criticism in the Swedish-speaking media and created fear over the survival of Swedish as an administrative language in Finland. A special status in the form partial self-determination and fixed protection for Swedish language in Swedish-speaking municipalities have been proposed in Finland's Swedish-speaking media.

Following an educational reform in the 1970s, both Swedish and Finnish became compulsory school subjects
Mandatory Swedish
In Finland, Swedish is a mandatory school subject for Finnish-speaking pupils in the last three years of the primary education . It is also mandatory in high schools, vocational schools, and vocational universities. Furthermore, all Finnish-speaking university graduates must demonstrate a certain...

. The school subjects are not called Finnish or Swedish; the primary language in which lessons are taught depends upon the pupil's mother tongue. This language of instruction is officially and in general practice called the mother tongue (modersmål in Swedish, äidinkieli in Finnish). The secondary language, as a school subject, is called the other domestic language (:sv:andra inhemska språket in Swedish, :fi:toinen kotimainen kieli in Finnish). Lessons in the "other domestic language" usually start in the third, fifth or seventh form of comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

 and are a part of the curriculum in all secondary education. In polytechnics and universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, all students are required to pass an examination in the "other domestic language" on a level that enables them to be employed as civil servants in bilingual offices and communities. The actual linguistic abilities of those who have passed the various examinations however vary considerably.

Being a small minority usually leads to functional bilingualism. Although in some municipalities Swedish is the only official language, Finnish is the dominant language in most towns and at most employers in Finland. In areas with a Finnish-speaking majority, Finnish is most often used when interacting with strangers and known Finnish speakers. However, 50% of all Swedish speakers live in areas in which Swedish is the majority language and in which they can use Swedish in all or most contexts (see demographics below)

Demographics


Of the Swedish-speaking population of Finland,
  • 9% live in Åland, whose population is almost exclusively Swedish-speaking
  • 6% live in officially monolingual Swedish-speaking municipalities of mainland Finland (Korsnäs
    Korsnäs
    Korsnäs is a municipality of Finland.It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Ostrobothnia region. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water. The population density is ....

    , Närpes
    Närpes
    Närpes is a town and municipality of Finland.The municipality is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Ostrobothnia region. The town has a population of and covers an area of of which is water. The population density is ....

    , Larsmo
    Larsmo
    Larsmo is a municipality of Finland, located in the Ostrobothnia region of the province of Western Finland."Larsmo" is also the name of one of the villages in the municipality of Larsmo. The municipality is unilingually Swedish and is consisting of an archipelago of about 360 islands and numerous...

    )
  • 35% live in officially bilingual towns and municipalities where Swedish dominates
  • 44% live in officially bilingual towns and municipalities where Finnish dominates
  • 6% live in officially monolingual Finnish-speaking towns and municipalities

Other terms


Traditionally, immigrants were described in English and most other languages by an adjective indicating the new country of residence and a noun indicating their country of origin or their ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

. This gave rise to expressions such as "Finland Swedes" and "Finnish Swedes", which correspond to the expressions still commonly used for immigrants in the United Kingdom and the expressions commonly used in Swedish and Finnish. Immigrants to the USA have however always been designated the "other way around" by an adjective indicating the ethnic or national origin and a noun indicating the new country of residence, for example "Swedish Americans" (never "American Swedes").

For example, British citizens who migrated (not immigrated) from India (or whose ancestors did) are usually called (in both UK and US English), whereas Indian immigrants in the USA are called "Indian Americans" (in both UK and US English). Due to the great quantitative difference in Swedish immigration to the UK and USA, the expression "British Swedes" is much less well known than "Swedish Americans", but they correspond to these different naming patterns. Interestingly, British government documents today often simultaneously use both "British Asian" and "Asian British" and similar expressions as synonyms. This does not usually cause confusion because British immigration is mostly still in one direction, but it does cause an increasing amount of confusion in today's rapidly globalising world. More specifically, it has always been problematic in situations with close cultural ties and extensive reciprocal migration between two countries such as between Finland and Sweden (cf. also the confusion around the ambiguous terms "German Russian" and "Russian German").

The modern trend in most countries and languages is towards the naming method used to describe US immigrants because it emphasises the status as full and equal citizens of the new country while providing information about cultural roots. This system is also more appropriate to the situation of immigrants who have been living in the new country for a long time, especially when they stop using the original language. In any case, the self-designation of all population groups is nowadays however considered more important than any other criteria. Swedish-speaking inhabitants of Finland whose ancestors have lived there for centuries almost exclusively consider themselves Finns in the English sense of the word, so it is best to call them "Swedish-speaking Finns" in English. "Swedish-speaking Finns" is also the term preferred by the most representative organisation of Swedish Finns, the Swedish Assembly of Finland
Swedish Assembly of Finland
The Swedish Assembly of Finland is an official consultative parliament representing the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.-Elections:Elections are held every four years, and candidates are nominated by the political parties which are either bilingual or Swedish-speaking...

, and the Society of Swedish Authors in Finland. Many Finns and Swedes are unaware that the English word "Finn" usually means "a native or inhabitant of Finland" (http://www.bartleby.com/61/17/F0131700.html) and only sometimes also has the meaning "a member of a people speaking Finnish or a Finnic language" or has this as its primary but not exclusive meaning. More specifically, due to the extremely small number of immigrants in Finland, Finns still have a hard time understanding that the normal English expression for a naturalised Finnish citizen who immigrated from Vietnam, for example, is a Vietnamese Finn. These same linguistic problems were encountered in France, Germany, and many other countries before the native population became used to foreigners many decades ago.

According to normal English usage (e.g. "French-speaking Canadians"), "Swedish-speaking Finns" means "Finnish citizens that speak Swedish as their mother tongue" and does not include people who have learned it as a foreign language. According to normal English usage, this can be abbreviated to Swedish Finns and Swedish speakers, and these less cumbersome expressions are preferable even when addressing people in Nordic countries in English, as for example in this article, as long as the meaning has been explained. The reason an explanation of the normal meaning of the English expression Swedish Finns is necessary in Scandinavia is because this is often confusingly used in English translations in Sweden and Finland to refer to Finns that have moved to Sweden and to the Finnish ethnic minority that has lived there for a long time. These people should instead be called "Finnish immigrants" and "Finnish Swedes" (or "Finnish ethnic minority in Sweden") respectively according to modern, unambiguous English usage. The reason they are often still called "Swedish Finns" or "Sweden Finns" is the old usage that emphasised the ethnic origin of immigrants instead of their status as citizens of the new country, but this usage is confusing and diminishing, as explained above.

Notable Swedish-speaking Finns



  • Antti Ahlström
    Antti Ahlström
    Antti Ahlström founded the Ahlstrom Corporation. He was one of Finland's most influential and wealthy 19th century businessmen...

    , industrialist and founder of the Ahlstrom
    Ahlstrom
    Ahlstrom is a Finnish wood processing firm and a global manufacturer of specialty papers and nonwoven materials, using natural and synthetic fibers to produce roll goods for customers who turn them into hundreds of products. Ahlstrom's shares have been traded on the main list of the Helsinki Stock...

     Corporation.
  • Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt
    Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt
    Count Gustaf Mauritz Armfelt was a Finnish and Swedish courtier and diplomat. In Finland, he is considered one of the great Finnish statesmen. Born in Tarvasjoki, Finland, he was the great grandson of Charles XII of Sweden's general, Carl Gustaf Armfeldt...

    , courtier and diplomat. In Finland, he is considered one of the great Finnish statesmen.
  • Elmer Diktonius
    Elmer Diktonius
    Elmer Rafael Diktonius was a Finnish poet and composer, who wrote in both Swedish and Finnish.-External links:*...

    , modernist leftwing writer.
  • Jörn Donner
    Jörn Donner
    Jörn Johan Donner is a Finnish writer, film director, actor, producer, politician, member of the Donner family and founder of Finnish Film Archive. He has been associated with several different political parties, and has at different times been a member both of the Finnish parliament and the...

    , writer, film director, actor, producer and politician.
  • Albert Edelfelt
    Albert Edelfelt
    Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt was a Swedish-speaking Finnish painter.Albert Edelfelt was born in Porvoo, Finland. His father Carl Albert was an architect. Edelfelt admired the poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, who was a friend of the family...

    , painter.
  • Johan Albrecht Ehrenström
    Johan Albrecht Ehrenström
    Johan Albrecht Ehrenström was a notable Finnish architect.Ehrenström was a resident of what would later become Finland, in the eastern parts of the Swedish Kingdom. Following the Swedish defeat in the Finnish War in 1809, the region became a part of the Russian Empire, and the city of Helsinki...

    , architect and chairman of the committee in charge of rebuilding the city of Helsinki
  • John Casimir Ehrnrooth
    John Casimir Ehrnrooth
    Johan Casimir Gustavovich Ehrnrooth was a Swedish-speaking Finnish soldier in the service of Imperial Russia, who also acted as Prime Minister of Bulgaria....

    , soldier in the service of Imperial Russia, who also acted as Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
  • Arvid Adolf Etholén
    Adolf Etolin
    Adolf Karlovich Etolin, lso Arvid Adolf Etholén, Russian: Адольф Карлович Этолин was a naval officer, explorer and administrator who was employed by the Russian-American Company. He was a Swedish-speaking Finn who was born in Helsinki, Finland...

    , Naval officer employed by the Russian-American Company
    Russian-American Company
    The Russian-American Company was a state-sponsored chartered company formed largely on the basis of the so-called Shelekhov-Golikov Company of Grigory Shelekhov and Ivan Larionovich Golikov The Russian-American Company (officially: Under His Imperial Majesty's Highest Protection (patronage)...

  • Karl-August Fagerholm
    Karl-August Fagerholm
    Karl-August Fagerholm was Speaker of Parliament and three times Prime Minister of Finland . Fagerholm became chairman of the Social Democrats after the armistice in the Continuation War...

    , three times Prime Minister of Finland
  • Kaj Franck
    Kaj Franck
    Kaj Franck was one of the leading figures of Finnish design, the teacher of several generations of professional designers in Finland, and an influential figure in design and applied arts between 1940-1980...

    , leading figure in Finnish design
  • Fredrik Idestam
    Fredrik Idestam
    Knut Fredrik Idestam was a Finnish mining engineer and businessman, best known as a founder of Nokia....

    , mining engineer and businessman, best known as a founder of Nokia.
  • Tove Jansson
    Tove Jansson
    Tove Marika Jansson was a Swedish-Finnish novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author. She is best known as the author of the Moomin books.- Biography :...

    , writer, creator of Moomin
    Moomin
    The Moomins are the central characters in a series of books and a comic strip by Swedish-Finn illustrator and writer Tove Jansson, originally published in Swedish by Schildts in Finland. They are a family of trolls who are white and roundish, with large snouts that make them resemble hippopotamuses...

     characters
  • Eero Järnefelt
    Eero Järnefelt
    Eero Erik Nikolai Järnefelt was a Finnish realist painter.Eero Järnefelt was born in Viipuri, Finland. His father August Aleksander Järnefelt was an officer in the Russian army and his mother was Elisabeth Järnefelt . He studied at the St...

    , realist painter.
  • Ragnar Granit
    Ragnar Granit
    Ragnar Arthur Granit was a Finnish/Swedish scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1967 along with Haldan Keffer Hartline and George Wald....

    , scientist, Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 1967
  • Marcus Grönholm
    Marcus Grönholm
    Marcus "Bosse" Grönholm is a Finnish former rally driver. Driving for Peugeot, he won the World Rally Championship in 2000 and 2002. After Peugeot withdrew from the World Rally Championship, Grönholm moved to Ford for the 2006 season and placed second in the drivers' world championship, losing the...

    , former Finnish rally driver
  • Gustaf Mannerheim, Marshal and President of Finland, commander-in-chief during the Winter War
    Winter War
    The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

  • Gustaf Nordenskiöld
    Gustaf Nordenskiöld
    Gustaf Nordenskiöld , Swedish scholar of Finnish descent, a member of the Nordenskiöld family of scientists and the eldest son of polar explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld and Anna Maria Mannerheim...

    , explorer of the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, Colorado; son of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
    Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
    Freiherr Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld , also known as A. E. Nordenskioeld was a Finnish baron, geologist, mineralogist and arctic explorer of Finnish-Swedish origin. He was a member of the prominent Finland-Swedish Nordenskiöld family of scientists...

  • Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
    Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld
    Freiherr Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld , also known as A. E. Nordenskioeld was a Finnish baron, geologist, mineralogist and arctic explorer of Finnish-Swedish origin. He was a member of the prominent Finland-Swedish Nordenskiöld family of scientists...

    , Arctic explorer, first to conquer the Northeast passage and circumnavigate Eurasia; father of Gustaf Nordenskiöld
    Gustaf Nordenskiöld
    Gustaf Nordenskiöld , Swedish scholar of Finnish descent, a member of the Nordenskiöld family of scientists and the eldest son of polar explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld and Anna Maria Mannerheim...

  • Emil von Qvanten
    Emil von Qvanten
    Emil von Qvanten was a Finnish-Swedish poet, librarian, publisher and politician.Qvanten went in to exile in Stockholm, Sweden, whnce he produced anonymous political propaganda which was smuggled into Finland. In 1855 Oskar Tammelander, working for the Russian secret police went to Stockholm and...

    , poet and politician
  • Johan Ludvig Runeberg
    Johan Ludvig Runeberg
    Johan Ludvig Runeberg was a Finnish poet, and is the national poet of Finland. He wrote in the Swedish language....

    , romantic writer and Finland's national poet
  • Helene Schjerfbeck
    Helene Schjerfbeck
    Helene Schjerfbeck was a Finnish painter. She is most widely known for her realist works and self-portraits, and less well known for her landscapes and still lifes...

    , painter.
  • Jean Sibelius
    Jean Sibelius
    Jean Sibelius was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious."...

    , classical composer
  • Johan Vilhelm Snellman
    Johan Vilhelm Snellman
    Johan Vilhelm Snellman was an influential Fennoman philosopher and Finnish statesman, ennobled in 1866.Snellman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, as son of Kristian Henrik Snellman, a ship's captain...

    , influential Fennoman philosopher and Finnish statesman
  • Lars Sonck
    Lars Sonck
    Lars Eliel Sonck was a Finnish architect. He graduated from Helsinki Polytechnic Institute in 1894 and immediately won a major design competition for a church in Turku, ahead of many established architects.Sonck ignored the growing trend toward architectural rationalism...

    , architect.
  • Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
    Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
    Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg was a Finnish jurist and academic, who played a central role in the drafting of the Constitution of Finland in 1919. He was the first President of Finland and a nationalist liberal.-Early life:...

    , 1st President of Finland
  • Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
    Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
    Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad , December 15, 1861 – February 29, 1944) was the third President of Finland from 1931 to 1937. Serving as a lawyer, judge, and politician in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, he played a major role in the movement for Finnish independence...

    , 3rd President of Finland
  • Edith Södergran
    Edith Södergran
    Edith Irene Södergran was a Swedish-speaking Finnish poet. She was one of the first modernists within Swedish-language literature and her influences came from French Symbolism, German expressionism and Russian futurism. At the age of 24 she released her first collection of poetry entitled Dikter...

    , modernist poet
  • Zacharias Topelius
    Zacharias Topelius
    Zachris Topelius was a Swedish-speaking Finnish author, journalist, historian, and rector of the University of Helsinki who wrote novels related to Finnish history in Swedish.-Life and career:...

    , journalist, historian and author
  • Linus Torvalds
    Linus Torvalds
    Linus Benedict Torvalds is a Finnish software engineer and hacker, best known for having initiated the development of the open source Linux kernel. He later became the chief architect of the Linux kernel, and now acts as the project's coordinator...

    , software engineer, creator of Linux kernel
    Linux kernel
    The Linux kernel is an operating system kernel used by the Linux family of Unix-like operating systems. It is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software....

  • Rudolf Walden
    Rudolf Walden
    Karl Rudolf Walden was a Finnish industrialist and general.He received his military education in Hamina Cadet School 1892–1900....

    , industrialist and general.
  • Martin Wegelius
    Martin Wegelius
    Martin Wegelius was a Finnish composer and musicologist, primarily remembered as the founder, in 1882, of the Helsinki Music Institute, now known as the Sibelius Academy.Wegelius studied in Leipzig, Vienna and Munich...

    , composer, musicologist, and founder of the Sibelius Academy
    Sibelius Academy
    The Sibelius Academy is a university-level music school which operates in Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland. It also has an adult education centre in Järvenpää and a training centre in Seinäjoki. The Academy is the only music university in Finland. It is among the biggest European music universities...

  • Niklas Bäckström
    Niklas Bäckström
    Niklas Oskar Bäckström is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League . He has won both William M. Jennings Trophy and Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award...

    , Icehockey player
  • Georg Henrik von Wright
    Georg Henrik von Wright
    Georg Henrik von Wright was a Finnish philosopher, who succeeded Ludwig Wittgenstein as professor at the University of Cambridge. He published in English, Finnish, German, and in Swedish. Belonging to the Swedish-speaking minority of Finland, von Wright also had Finnish and 17th-century Scottish...

    , philosopher


Old Swedish-speaking Gentry (Origins in Finland prior the establishment of church records - 1650)
  • Adlercreutz
    Adlercreutz
    Adlercreutz is a Swedish and Finnish noble family. Its oldest known ancestor is Erik Markusson, dead 1654, who was a farmer in Biskops, Stortötar, Lohja, Uusimaa...

     (1600 - )
  • Boije (1400 - )
  • Carpelan
    Carpelan
    Carpelan family is a Finnish noble family from Middle Ages.Squire Paval Karppalainen from Vehmaa, Varsinais-Suomi was ennobled in 1407 by king Eric XIII of Sweden...

     (1400 - )
  • Creutz
    Creutz
    Creutz is the surname of a Finnish and Swedish noble family with the title count. The family, both a branch of counts and a baronial branch, continues in Finland and Sweden. -History:...

     (1400- )
  • Fellman (1500 - )
  • Frosterus (1500 -)
  • Idman (1600 - )
  • Jägerhorn af Spurila
    Jägerhorn af Spurila
    Jägerhorn af Spurila is a noble family, registered with number 114 in the Swedish House of Nobility and number 5 in the Finnish House of Nobility. Members of this family live in Finland, Sweden, France and the USA....

  • Lagus
    Lagus
    Lagus from Eordaea was the father, or reputed father, of Ptolemy, the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. He married Arsinoe, a concubine of Philip II, king of Macedon, who was said to have been pregnant at the time of their marriage, on which account it is told that the Macedonians generally looked...

     (1500 - )
  • Lilius
    Lilius
    Lilius is a surname and may refer to:* Lilius family* Aloysius Lilius, principal author of the Gregorian Calendar** Lilius , named after him* Franciszek Lilius Lilius is a surname and may refer to:* Lilius family* Aloysius Lilius,(c. 1510 – 1576) principal author of the Gregorian Calendar** Lilius...

     (1500 - )
  • Munck (1500 - )
  • Orreus (1600- )
  • Procopé
    Procopé
    Procopé, a surname, may refer to the following people:*Hjalmar Procopé, a deceased Finnish politician*Ulla Procopé, a deceased Finnish ceramic designer...

     (1500 - )
  • Wegelius
    Wegelius
    The Wegelius family is originally from the county of Ilmajoki in Ostrobothnia, the family's forefather is considered to be Jakob Eriksson Uppa who was the master of the Seinäjoki -based Uppala house in the early 17th century....

     (1600 - )


Old Swedish-speaking Gentry of non-Finnish origin ( - 1650)
  • Aminoff
    Aminoff
    Aminoff is a Russian origin noble family, which family members lives in Sweden and in Finland. Aminoff's genealogy branches are represented at Sweden's and Finland's House of Nobility...

     (1600 - ) Russia
  • Bonsdorff (1600 - ) Germany
  • Colliander (1600 - ) Sweden
  • Gripenberg
    Gripenberg
    Gripenberg is a locality situated in Tranås Municipality, Jönköping County, Sweden with 282 inhabitants in 2005....

     (1600 - ) Sweden
  • Hornborg (1600 - ), Germany-Poland
  • Knorring, von (1500 - ) Germany
  • Mannerheim
    Mannerheim (family)
    Mannerheim is the surname of well-known noble family registered in Finland, Sweden and Germany.-Baronial lineage:...

     (1600 - ) Germany
  • Meinander (1600 - ) Sweden
  • Ramsay
    Ramsay
    Ramsay may refer to:*Ramsay , for people named Ramsay*Ramsay , an impact crater on the Moon*Ramsay, Calgary, Alberta, Canada*Ramsay, Michigan, U.S.*Ramsay *Electoral district of Ramsay, in South Australia...

     (1100 - ) Scotland
  • Nordenskiöld
    Nordenskiöld (surname)
    Nordenskiöld or Nordenskjöld can refer to a number of Finland-Swedish or Swedish people :* August Nordenskiöld, alchemist* Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld, mineralogist and traveller...

     Uppland, Sweden
  • Rosenlew (1600 - ) Germany
  • Schauman
    Schauman
    - Members of the family :* August Schauman , publicist, founder of Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper* Eugen Schauman , activist, assassin of Governor-General of Finland Nikolai Bobrikov* Frans Ludvig Schauman, professor, bishop...

     (1600 - ) Germany
  • Stjernvall (1600 - ) Sweden
  • Svinhufvud
    Svinhufvud
    Svinhufvud is a family of ancient Swedish nobility originating from Dalarna. The family is incorporated both at the Swedish House of Nobility and the Finnish House of Nobility....

     af Qvalstadt Dalarna, Sweden
  • Willebrand, von (1500 - ) Germany
  • Wrede
    Wrede
    Wrede may refer to:*Fabian Wrede , an advisor to King Charles XI, King of Sweden**Carl Gustaf Fabian Wrede, governor of Vaasa province in Finland.**Mathilda Wrede , evangelist and a baroness, daughter of Fabian...

     (1200 - ) Germany


Swedish-speaking Families historically involved with Industry and Commerce
  • Ahlström
    Ahlström-Gullichsen family
    The Ahlström family is a Finnish family of industrialists, designers and artists. They are known for being the founding family behind the Ahlstrom Corporation and for their cooperation with Alvar Aalto-Notable members:...

     (1800 - )
  • Alftan and Alfthan (1600 - )
  • Bruun (1600 - )
  • Borgström (1700 - )
  • Donner
    Donner
    Donner is a variation of Donar, the German name of the god Thor – particularly as a character in the first opera, Das Rheingold of Richard Wagner's opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen...

    (1600 - ) Germany
  • Fazer (1800 - ) Scotland
  • Frenckell (1700 - ) Germany
  • Hackman (1600 - ) Germany
  • Jaenisch (1700–1900)
  • Paulig (1800 - ) Germany
  • Stockmann (1800 - ) Germany
  • von Rettig Germany
  • Rosenlew (1600 - ) Germany
  • Thesleff (1500 - )